Are the ebooks you’ve made available to Amazon’s Kindle also available to
the Barnes and Noble Nook eReader? If not, when can Nook geeks expect equal
opportunity? Not trying to be sassy or arrogant, merely trying to ensure that
Nook users have the same opportunities as the Kindle users seem to get
In this excerpt from
Answercast #13, I look at the demand for Kindle books compared to Barnes and
Noble’s Nook. I need to know if there is a demand.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
From my own personal perspective, I would love to do a Nook version of most
of my books.
The problem is that it is extra work and the demand has to justify it. In
other words, I’ve got to be able to actually sell enough of my books on Nook in
order to justify the expense of converting the book to a Nook format: going
through the process of uploading it and making it available.
I’m absolutely open to it, but it depends on untapped demand. It depends on
people letting me know that, yes, they are Nook readers and, if I make a book
available on the Nook, they will actually turn around and buy it.
Market forces at work
What you’re experiencing here is simply market forces at work. When we
take a look at more than just Ask Leo!, there’s a cost involved for every
different format that a publisher provides a book in. There’s a cost in setting up; there’s
cost in formatting; the cost can be small, it can be large, but there’s
definitely an additional cost. There is also maintenance, and so forth, for
handling the various different platforms.
If a platform doesn’t have the sufficient number of users, a sufficient
number of readers, [or] a sufficient number of people who are willing to actually
purchase books, then what you end up seeing is that small publishers (such as
myself) have to make the really hard decisions.
Small publishers say, “OK, fine. If I’m gong to do this, I need to focus my
efforts.” I need to focus on platforms that have the greatest opportunity for
giving me a positive return on what is an investment in time and energy.
Amazon Kindle dominates right now when it comes to ebooks. When it comes to
a commercial ebook sales, the Amazon Kindle platform (and it is a platform,
it’s not just a reader), absolutely dominates when it comes to selling
Kindle is popular
They dominate for two reasons:
- One is they’ve got a pretty cool reader. Personally, I like the Kindle device.
I have not played with the Nook and I assume that it’s fairly similar, but the
Kindle experience is actually a very good one.
- Platform. One of the reasons I call it a platform (and one of the reasons that I
focus on it heavily besides just its dominance in the market share) is the fact
that publishing a book on Amazon’s Kindle makes it available not just on
Kindle devices, but on Android phones, Android tablets, iPhone, iPad, PCs and
Macs. All of these additional devices have free readers so you can get Kindle
books and read them without having to actually purchase a Kindle device.
I know that the Nook has something similar for some platforms. I don’t think
it’s quite as ubiquitous as the Kindle platform.
What I have heard is that for those people that are willing to root your
Nook (in other words, you are actually willing to do some things to the
operating system to make it accept things that Barnes and Noble was originally
not intending it to do), you can also download and run the Kindle reader on
I’m not advocating that; I’m not suggesting it, I’m just pointing it out as
a possibility for those people who are into that kind of thing.
Ask Leo! on Nook
So, I hope to do a Nook version. I hope to do a Google books version. I hope
to do a version in the Apple bookstore. But each one of those, like I said,
(and this is for true for almost any small independent publisher) involves
extra work. I need to have some kind of an idea that there’s a return on that
time and investment in order to make the investment in the first place.
So, I hear you. I actually would love to do it; it’s an excuse for me to go
out and buy a Nook and expense it, but for the moment, I have to focus my
energies on the biggest target; the platform with the biggest market share.